When a traffic stop turns into an investigation about whether you’re driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, it’s not unusual to be on edge – and nerves can make someone unintentionally chatty.
That’s a problem, however, when everything you say can (and most definitely will) be used against you. Some people don’t realize that this includes things said during the traffic stop but before any arrest has been made or they’ve been given their Miranda Warning.
Here are the most common verbal blunders people make – and what you need to remember not to say if you find yourself in that situation:
“I only had a single drink.”
Maybe you really did just have half a beer or a glass of wine with dinner, and you know you aren’t impaired – but the officer isn’t going to believe that. Worse, you’ve just openly admitted to having alcohol in your system, which will likely justify a blood alcohol content test and further investigation.
“I think my cold medication is making me tired.”
You may think this is a reasonable explanation for why you may have weaved a little in the road or bumped a curb, and you probably expect the officer to be understanding and let you go – but that’s not what’s likely to happen. Under the law, it doesn’t matter if the drug that’s leaving you impaired is a simple allergy pill, a shot of DayQuil or something you obtained illegally. Drugged driving is still drugged driving.
“I can prove I’m sober.”
This is usually in response to an officer’s suggestion that you take a roadside sobriety test, like the one-legged stand test or the walk-and-turn test. These tests rely on an officer’s subjective judgment, and they’re not required – so don’t let yourself be goaded into trying to prove anything. Just politely decline and wait to see if the officer thinks they justify any further investigation.
If you are arrested for a DUI, don’t panic. As scary as the situation may be, officers make mistakes all the time – and there are defenses available to you.